Algorithms Are Making US Small-Minded

Computer programs tackle requests and problems with sets of rules and algorithms provided by humans, but the goal to please audiences may limit creativity and lead to bland predictability. “The ubiquity of incredibly powerful algorithms designed to reinforce our interests also ensures that we see little of what’s new, different and unfamiliar,” writes Sydney Finkelstein for BBC News. “The very things that are at the heart of learning, understanding and innovation. Rather than taking us out of our comfort zone, the digital revolution is enabling each of us to live happily in our own worlds, and in the process closing down opportunities for originality, spontaneity and learning.” The algorithms place users on narrow tracks when shopping, reading news, dating, hiring and more. Finkelstein suggests that this leads to greater polarization and angst, whereas open-mindedness contributes to better decisions. He urges people to move beyond the algorithms’ choices and explore new opinions, food, books, friends and more. Embracing change with new approaches and skills prepares individuals for an unpredictable future. – YaleGlobal

Algorithms Are Making US Small-Minded

Life is mapped out but not how we assume – predictive algorithms in shopping, news and other programs narrow perspectives and ultimately choices
Sydney Finkelstein
Tuesday, January 3, 2017

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Sydney Finkelstein is the Steven Roth Professor of Management and director of the Leadership Center at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. His latest book is Superbosses: How Exceptional Leaders Manage the Flow of Talent (Portfolio/Penguin, 2016).

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